A PLANNING application for the second phase of the Winnersh Relief Road has been met with criticism from cyclists.

The plans, which would connect the B3030 King Street Lane with the A329 Reading Road if it is approved, form part of a £400million scheme to improve infrastructure around Wokingham Borough to cope with the growing population.

The new road would include two new roundabout junctions on the A329 Reading Road, two new minor residential access roads and associated works including traffic signals, crossings, drainage, footways and cycleways. Phase 2 also includes an extension to the existing Longdon Road and if approved, once completed, this road would take traffic from Lower Earley Way all the way through to Coppid Beech Roundabout.

But the plans have been met with criticism from cyclists, who have branded the new road an 'obstacle course' for cyclists and pedestrians.

Writing on social media, one user commented: "It doesn’t look too great from a pedestrian’s perspective either. Unfortunate that a shared path is not included on the M4 side of the carriageway."

Another poster added: "They've just put two more roundabouts in to navigate, which will not be easy with the heavy traffic along that road already.

"The document mentions "cyclist specific opportunities", but these seem to consist of putting in Toucan crossings, and a shared use path. No mention of the likely detrimental impact on cycling due to the two extra roundabouts."

A spokesperson for the Reading Cycle Campaign said: "Wokingham Borough has invested a lot of money to provide a good cycle route from Reading to Wokingham. The two new roundabouts at the M4 bridge will cut that route in two. The planning application recognises that, so we at Reading Cycle Campaign look forward to discussing with the Borough how it could improve the plans and get more people cycling."

Mark Cupit, Wokingham Borough Council's assistant director for delivery and infrastructure, said: “The completed Winnersh Relief Road would help relieve the existing congestion and improve network resilience through Winnersh village and on the wider road network. It is also designed to provide additional capacity, which will help the Borough meet its objectives for housing and economic growth, and job creation.”

Public exhibitions were held at the end of last year detailing the proposals, and if approved, work could begin in late 2019, with the road expected to be completed in summer 2021.

The first phase of the Winnersh Relief Road, which was built by housing developer Bovis, is due to be opened shortly, connecting the B2370 Lower Earley Way to the B3030 King Street Lane.